(a) It is hereby declared as a matter of public policy that the protection, enhancement, and perpetuation of properties of historical, cultural, and esthetic merit are in the interests of the health, prosperity, and welfare of the people of the District of Columbia. Therefore, this subchapter is intended to:
(1) Effect and accomplish the protection, enhancement, and perpetuation of improvements and landscape features of landmarks and districts which represent distinctive elements of the city's cultural, social, economic, political, and architectural history;
(2) Safeguard the city's historic, aesthetic and cultural heritage, as embodied and reflected in such landmarks and districts;
(3) Foster civic pride in the accomplishments of the past;
(4) Protect and enhance the city's attraction to visitors and the support and stimulus to the economy thereby provided; and
(5) Promote the use of landmarks and historic districts for the education, pleasure, and welfare of the people of the District of Columbia.
(b) It is further declared that the purposes of this subchapter are:
(1) With respect to properties in historic districts:
(A) To retain and enhance those properties which contribute to the character of the historic district and to encourage their adaptation for current use;
(B) To assure that alterations of existing structures are compatible with the character of the historic district; and
(C) To assure that new construction and subdivision of lots in an historic district are compatible with the character of the historic district;
(2) With respect to historic landmarks:
(A) To retain and enhance historic landmarks in the District of Columbia and to encourage their adaptation for current use; and
(B) To encourage the restoration of historic landmarks.
(3) With respect to archaeological sites designated as historic landmarks or contributing properties within historic districts:
(A) To protect historic and prehistoric archaeological sites from irreparable loss or destruction; and
(B) To encourage the retrieval of archaeological information and artifacts when the destruction of an archaeological site is necessary in the public interest.
(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-144, § 2, 25 DCR 6939; Nov. 16, 2006, D.C. Law 16-185, § 2(a), 53 DCR 6712.)
1981 Ed., § 5-1001.
1973 Ed., § 5-821.
Effect of Amendments
D.C. Law 16-185 added subsec. (b)(3).
Legislative History of Laws
Law 2-144, the "Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act of 1978," was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 2-367, which was referred to the Committee on Housing and Urban Development. The Bill was adopted on first, amended first, and second readings on October 31, 1978, November 14, 1978 and November 28, 1978, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on December 27, 1978, it was assigned Act No. 2-318 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review.
Law 16-185, the "Historic Preservation Amendment Act of 2006", was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 16-195, which was referred to the Committee of the Whole. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on June 6, 2006, and July 11, 2006, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on July 25, 2006, it was assigned Act No. 16-463 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 16-185 became effective on November 16, 2006.
Because of the codification of D.C. Law 5-69 as subchapter II of this chapter, and the designation of the preexisting text of Chapter 11 as subchapter I, "subchapter" has been substituted for "chapter", where applicable, in this section.
Delegation of Authority
Delegation of Authority Pursuant to the Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act of 1978, as amended and the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, see Mayor's Order 2011-120, July 18, 2011 (58 DCR 6464).